Posts Tagged: Ancel Keys

The GAPS Diet



By Matt Stone I first wrote about Natasha Campbell-McBride and the GAPS diet many years ago, commenting on what an excellent public speaker Campbell-McBride is.  She speaks with a tremendous amount of confidence and fervor.  You are convinced, after hearing her speak, that she really knows something and is eager to bring it to those in need.  But these good intentions and good impressions aside, most find the GAPS diet to be woefully ineffective.  For some, like a young girl who recently contacted me after what seems to be some electrolyte-related heart troubles caused in part by her GAPS experience, it can do a lot of damage. So what, in my assessment, is the good, bad, and ugly of GAPS (with an emphasis on bad and ugly as everyone else… Read more »

Heavy Periods and Bruising Easily



People love to get some cold, hard facts.  In fact, after the prequel to this post was put up, someone immediately voiced a desire to have some “hard data” coming up in this post.  Well, I hate to disappoint you, but the complex interactions that take place in an individual’s body often defy conventional wisdom and data that is, like L.L. Cool J, “as hard as steel.” Let’s look at a real life example.  A woman in her 20’s contacted me because of some serious emotional ups and downs and some general feelings of fatigue.  Stuff like, you know, getting to work, staring at her desk for a minute or two, and then bursting into uncontrollable crying fits.  My first question was, “are you urinating more frequently?” The answer was… Read more »

Thyroid and Nosebleeds, Heavy Periods, Bleeding Gums, Bruising, Anemia, and Low Platelet Count/ITP



Wow!  If that ain’t the most Ray Peat title ever!  Beat that old man! Okay, I don’t expect this post to really appeal to a broad audience.  I mean, that’s the most uncatchy title of all-time.  Well, other than the fact that I listed enough health problems that virtually everyone will have had some problem with one of those at some point.  Maybe that will lure in a few readers. This post is important though, as there are some very interesting connections between all of these conditions and metabolism/thyroid.  Understand some of those connections and you will understand the human body better than most.  Be warned that this post will probably jump around a lot and seem a little schizophrenic, but bear with me.  I didn’t want to separate it… Read more »

Dietary Cholesterol


Strangely, many people feel that foods that contain cholesterol: such as butter, red meat, and eggs, will contribute to high cholesterol levels if consumed.  It’s strange, because even in the infancy of the “beware of high cholesterol levels” craze, no one ever accused dietary cholesterol of raising blood cholesterol levels. No one accused dietary cholesterol of this because dietary cholesterol does not do this.  Even Ancel Keys, virtually the sole creator of the anti-cholesterol era, knew quite well that dietary cholesterol did not influence blood cholesterol levels. The message that cholesterol was bad, but that you could eat all the cholesterol you wanted; however, was obviously too confusing.  Still to this day, even the most astute medical professionals still believe, like the general public, that there is good reason to… Read more »

Dietary Fat


Dietary fat is generally the most feared of all food substances.  From the beginning of time until the middle of the 20th century; however, fat was the most highly-regarded and honored of all food substances.  Why the 180? In the middle of the 20th century, up and coming scientist Ancel Keys developed a theory that fat caused heart disease, which was, and still is, the leading cause of death in modern nations despite its extreme rarity before the 1920’s.  He found plenty of data to support his theory, most notably that Japan and a handful of other countries that consumed less fat than America had lower rates of heart disease.  He only picked seven countries that backed up his theory, but that was evidently enough for Keys to pronounce, “case… Read more »

The Calorie Restriction Myth


Check out my eBook on how to RAISE YOUR METABOLISM, I’m not exactly a fan of low-calorie eating.  While I’m tempted just to say, “aw man, calorie restriction.  That is so dumb, that is really dumb, fo real” - I figured it would be better to seriously address calorie restriction as I see it.  Recently I wrote a summary of the importance of metabolism that should be appearing on another site soon.  In that summary I addressed calorie restriction briefly, which I have included below. The infatuation with calorie restriction is actually a fantastic example of some fragment of research taken out of context and the subtle nuances ignored – and more importantly, it’s applicability in real people in the real world unacknowledged.  Of course, when calories are restricted, everything is restricted –… Read more »

Understanding Belly Fat


“Those subjects who gained the most weight became concerned about their increasing sluggishness, general flabbiness, and the tendency of fat to accumulate in the abdomen and buttocks.” -The Biology of Human Starvation… Response to the miraculous healing that took place during re-feeding after 24 weeks of calorie-restriction completely ruined the physical, mental, and emotional health of 32 young men. Some mentions of belly fat came up in the comments section of a recent post. First of all, as a primer, belly fat – or visceral fat, is considered to be the most harmful type of fat. This type of fat is strongly correlated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and the escalating problem of impaired glucose metabolism on the way to an increased risk of heart disease, many cancers, obesity, and… Read more »

Anorexia Rehab


Over the weekend I was asked a question about anorexia, and since my thoughts and feelings about the disease are so vast, I saved my reply to this anonymous poster for its very own blog post (note, that is NOT a photo of the person who wrote the following)… “I have had anorexia for 6-7 years now and I need and want out. I have gone from ‘conventional’ treatment where people shove ice cream and subs in your face to LC because it helped me mentally calm down and distress, then to VLC and then ZC then back up the ladder to VLC and LC now. I eat a shitload of protein and fat and slowly and upping my carbs. My blood sugar is shot. My adrenals are shit. My… Read more »

The Catecholamine Honeymoon



This post could be titled any number of things. Originally I had thought to call it Low Carb Honeymoon, as I have referred to that window of amazing energy and effortless, lean-tissue sparing fat loss experienced by many on their first flirtation with carbohydrate restriction. But carbohydrate restriction is really just one way of achieving an adrenal hormone buzz that provides unfathomably good results in the short-term while mysteriously disappearing later on.  Another is rigorous exercise. Another is fasting or intermittent fasting. Then you have just plain calorie restriction – which usually feels awesome and invigorating before the crash landing. Stimulants will do the trick as well. Ephedra was an amazing supplement for many people from what I understand. A happily-ever-after? I don’t think so. Each of these techniques or… Read more »

Leningrad Hypertension Epidemic


leningrad famine

One thing I’ve been keen on since the beginning of my “investigation” is the equal and opposite reaction of the human body to the things you force upon it. There is no end to the repetitive advice to eat less and exercise more to achieve any number of health benefits. When people with health problems increase their exercise level and decrease their food intake, a number of positives immediately jump into the spotlight… 1) They lose weight! Shazam! 2) Their insulin levels plummet! Ka-Pow! 3) Triglycerides fall off a cliff! Woo-sha! (this exclamation will be familiar to anyone that’s ever been forced to watch the “Verbal Judo” training video) 4) Blood sugar drops (a little bit)! Zowie! 5) And, the subject of today’s jibba-jabba, is that blood pressure drops! Boo-yah!… Read more »

Ancel Keys and The Biology of Human Starvation


What a read. It’s finally over. Returned to the local library and being sent back from whence it came. As most of you know, I’ve been working hard to get through this 2-volume, 1300 page opus peering into the physiological aspects of human starvation. I did so for two primary reasons: The first reason is that during starvation the basal body temperature drops, and a long list of health problems encompassing a large spectrum of physiological and emotional issues ensue under such conditions. Since it has been observed that human body temperature is in noticeable decline, and is thought to be a legitimate epidemic by those who study body temperature closely amongst their patients – like Mark Starr or Stephen Langer, I couldn’t think of a better reason to delve… Read more »

Cut Calories to Gain Fat



If you’re looking for a way to gain body fat in proportion to lean body mass, let it be known that the most efficient means of achieving that lofty goal has been known since 1950.  Cut calories. In 1950, an experiment was performed by Ancel Keys on a group of 32 young men in relatively healthy condition.  The idea behind the experiment was to study what happens under situations of famine.  These brave young men were thus put on a 1,500 calorie diet (more than some weight loss authors recommend) that was continued for a period of 24 weeks.  What happened to them was breathtaking – and the 1300-page monster of information that Keys and his colleagues managed to produce detailing the study makes it, quite possibly, the most well-controlled, superbly-documented, and… Read more »

David Brown on Omega 6 Fats


One nutrition researcher who claims to have been “studying nutritional controversies” for decades is David Brown of Kalispell, MT. David contacted me nearly two years ago, and we’ve kept in close contact ever since. In our health travels, we’ve both come to similar conclusions on the two greatest dietary evils – omega 6 fat and refined fructose. With all the fructose bashing going on around here lately, it only seemed fair to do a quick post on omega 6 as well, and why omega 3 fatty acids and saturated fats are the optimal fat choices to avoid omega 6 overload – which potentially results in a hyperinflammatory condition in the body. David recently wrote this letter, and cc’ed me on the e-mail. It was worth sharing. Thanks David. The video by Bill Lands that he recommends at… Read more »

Death to Diets!


The comments section on “Weight Watchers Fail” is really inspiring.  Inspiring enough to make this official… I, Matt Stone, am an anti-diet crusader. Like I’ve said, if I find a way that truly allows us all to be lean without sacrificing our health and sanity, you’ll be the first to know. For now, we’re all going to shove a collective fist up the entire dieting and weight loss industry’s arse – perhaps extend a middle finger while we’re there. This will only be radically reinforced as I weave my way through Ancel Keys’s legendary 1300 page low-calorie manual… The Biology of Human Starvation, which I just received from my local library yesterday afternoon. I’m also going to start today on a major overhaul of 180 Degree Metabolism: The Smart Strategy for Fat Loss. This… Read more »